Death’s Gambit is a new action RPG that throws elements from Dark Souls into a gorgeous 2D world. It has light platforming, rewarding exploration and a ton of challenging fights where even low level enemies can mop the floor with you.

Your character starts the story recovering from battle, barely breathing, and finds themselves face to face with Death. In order to continue, you must sign a contract in blood to do Death’s dirty work by hunting down and defeating various bosses throughout the world. Dying sometimes presents intriguing flashbacks or trippy dreams.

Archived Twitch stream 8/15/18

The contract you sign with Death actually shows up in your inventory. This prevents you from dying permanently, so each time you kick the bucket, you show up back at the last shrine you rested at. You can also tear the contract up and play a permadeath mode. The world is also non-linear, so feel free to explore and get your ass handed to you by the bosses in whatever order you want.

You collect shards along the way from fallen enemies that you use as currency to upgrade your stats. Feathers are used to heal, although you drop them when you die. Collect enough shards and you can recover those lost feathers at a shrine, or you can roll up your sleeves and go pick them back up yourself. You can also use feathers as currency to give you a buff right before a boss fight. There’s a fun balancing act that feels rewarding when you find that perfect rhythm.

An interesting twist in Death’s Gambit is how the game handles your secondary abilities. A third purple meter is located right underneath your stamina and health that fills up each time you attack an enemy. That purple meter is then used to spend on more powerful secondary attacks, which are also on cooldowns. Fights challenge you to keep track of it all while landing hits, dodges and blocks at the right time.

Death’s Gambit’s gorgeous world is worth exploring for various items, weapons, and even damage bonuses during boss fights. You’re going to want every bit of help you can get along the way.

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Death’s Gambit is available now on PC and PlayStation 4. Watch our archived stream to see the game in action.